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Supermarkets continue to commit tax fraud

January 23, 2019 11:01 am

Supermarkets are under the spotlight yet again for their constant involvement in illegal activities and trying to defraud the government.

FBC News can confirm the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service has launched several investigations including one into a major supermarket chain for its alleged engagement in tax evasion and illegal importation.

Chief Executive, Visvanath Das says it’s serious business when it comes to the law but some supermarkets continue to think they are above it.

This despite a multi-million dollar fine against a supermarket last year, some continue to try and beat the system.

“This is what it is like for every tax jurisdiction, it’s an on-going issue and at this stage, I wouldn’t say that Fiji is out of the woods.  We have a number of cases on the ground, and as we complete investigations we will name and shame some big cases.”

Das is calling on consumers to assist the tax office to identify these culprits.

“Not getting the right taxes into the Revenue and Customs send alarms to where businesses deal in cash. I think if customers access or utilize ETPOS more, that will greatly help.”

Revenue and Customs is also concerned about the issue of smuggled goods.

“I’m sure one of the issues that businesses will raise is that there is space in the container and we can buy more goods and put it in. I have no problem with that but you’ve got to update the documentation and if we don’t pick it up at the board then these goods are entering undetected with no duty paid.”

Local supermarkets have been warned that getting involved in unscrupulous business practice will not end well.

“We trust you and we let the businesses do business and make your money but please do so in a legitimate way. Don’t think that you are going unnoticed. We do build profiles and if you are involved in fraud, prohibited items, undervaluation then I’m sorry to say that you will need to face the full brunt of the law.”

Those found involved in these illegal activities will either pay a fine of $25,000 or a jail term of ten years for their company directors.